Making time for the things you enjoy most

I love the feeling of being surrounded my nature, and sadly I don’t get nearly enough of that living in a crowded urban city.

Although the summer is almost up for us Canadians (I know, didn’t it just start?!), I’m going to commit to going hiking at least three more times by the end of the season.

This might seem like a silly thing to post about, but it’s the public commitment that often gives me that added push to follow through with things like this.

What are some things that you’ve wanted to do for a while and just haven’t gotten around to? Post them in the comments and I’ll make sure to hold you to it! :)


A few months ago, I realized that I wasn’t satisfied with where I was in life and wanted to do something about it. The only problem was that the gap between where I was and where I wanted to be seemed daunting. That’s why I decided to start taking small steps towards big change in my life.* On March 11, 2017, I began making small changes in my life each day.

*Note: if you improve yourself by 1% everyday for an entire year, you will grow by 38x (1.01³⁶⁵=37.8)

Here’s what the journey has looked like so far:

11-Mar-17: Starting taking cold showers (for the last 60 seconds)

12-Mar-17: Set goal of learning one new song per week on the guitar

13-Mar-17: Started listening to Audiobooks at 3–4x the speed

14-Mar-17: Started keeping my shoes organized

15-Mar-17: Decided to learn to juggle, practicing a few min daily

16-Mar-17: Began reading 3 book summaries (~10 min each) daily

17-Mar-17: Limit eating out to bare minimum, learn new recipe weekly

18-Mar-17: Limit alcohol to a bare minimum

19-Mar-17: No more snoozing alarm clocks, no more than 7 hrs sleep/night

20-Mar-17: Build tracker for bills as a reminder

21-Mar-17: Limit TV usage to 2 hours per day

22-Mar-17: Saying people’s names when I say hello, brushing teeth with weak hand, do one charitable thing a day, stretch for 10 minutes a day, spend 15 minutes a day on personal improvement

23-Mar-17: Picking up one piece of litter a day

24-Mar-17: Drink 3L of water a day

25-Mar-17: Start keeping track of calories with myfitnesspal

26-Mar-17: Try a day without the internet next weekend

27-Mar-17: Start attending weekly Toastmasters sessions to become a better public speaker, start meditating 5 minutes daily, take one online course at all times, learn to play the game “Go”

28-Mar-17: Sketch one thing at least once a month for the rest of 2017

29-Mar-17: Find a mentor by the end of April (to chat with on a regular basis)

30-Mar-17: Make it to work on time everyday, and start posting on Medium in the mornings

31-Mar-17: Start volunteering at least once a month (look into options and find a place by April 7th)

1-Apr-17: Start quizzing myself in Chinese for 10 min daily using a flashcard app; start shampooing hair every other day (as opposed to every day)

2-Apr-17: Explore downtown Toronto by riding bike each weekend in spring, summer, and fall of 2017; Bike the 24km to my parent’s place uptown and back at least once this summer

3-Apr-17: Start donating blood, register as an organ donor, use less energy heating and cooling home, start buying some fair-trade products, start using reusable bags when grocery shopping

4-Apr-17: Eat an orange in the shower each morning, keep kitchen clean, jot down 10 ideas every day

5-Apr-17: Read fiction for 5–10 minutes a day

6-Apr-17: Ignore eNewsletters until the end of the day, and write down lesson learned from each book I read

7-Apr-17: Strike up a 1+ minute conversation with a stranger each day, read over Medium posts for grammar

8-Apr-17: Include a header image on all Medium posts

9-Apr-17: Drink a class of kefir each morning

10-Apr-17: Run at least one mile every single day

11-Apr-17: Plank once a day for as long as possible

12-Apr-17: Substitute baby carrots for regular carrots for morning smoothies

13-Apr-17: Buy a foam roller and start using for 5 minutes daily

14-Apr-17: Take the stairs (as opposed to escalator) wherever possible

15-Apr-17: Climb the stairs in my apartment building from ground to 50+ once a week

16-Apr-17: Play Spikeball with friends on at least 10 occasions this summer

17-Apr-17: Take one picture every day

18-Apr-17: Hold the door open for others for one straight minute each day

19-Apr-17: Wearing earplugs from now on at loud events

20-Apr-17: Add a “quote of the week” to the whiteboard in my room for inspiration

21-Apr-17: No longer dispose of cardboard in the recycling chute (which we are not supposed to do)

22-Apr-17: Recording and posting a one-minute video each day

23-Apr-17: Using an RSS reader for news consumption

24-Apr-17: Set a timer for 5 minutes before bed and spend the time jotting down all the things I want to accomplish the following day

25-Apr-17: Stop cracking knuckles

26-Apr-17: Stay disconnected for the first hour after getting up each morning

27-Apr-17 to 9-May-17: Quit my job to start non-profit, drink green tea at least once a day, write down one mistake I made each day that I can learn from, do at least one run and one bike for the cure each year, call grandparents at least 3 times a week, get a compost bin and start using it, start standing while playing the guitar, start cutting my own hair, spend 25 minutes a day on self-improvement, become a vegetarian within 100 days, made rule to never accept more than $75k annually in personal income, spend 5 minutes a day learning to type properly, learn to drive stick

10-May-17: Spend a few minutes each day reviewing this growing list of changes

11-May-17: Take daily mood quiz on moodscope.com

12-May-17: Writing down 3 things a day that I am grateful for

13-May-17: Draw something every day

14-May-17: Add a slice of lemon to a glass of water daily

15-May-17: Creating a Vision Board and reviewing it monthly

16-May-17: Stop using Instagram

17-May-17: Smiling & saying hi to strangers in the elevator

18-May-17: Putting my phone and wallet/keys in opposite pockets

19-May-17: Reach out to one new person a day for advice on my startup

20-May-17: Using the pomodoro technique to manage time

21-May-17: Start 30-day wall sit challenge, and then continue to do one 5-minute wall sit a day

22-May-17: Learn one new word a day

23-May-17: Brainstorm and write down 10 uses for a random object each day

24-May-17: Write at least 100 words daily on any topic

25-May-17: Use the Rule of 3 to identify the three most important things I want to focus on accomplishing each day at work

26-May-17: Using the ‘5 Why’ technique to get to the root cause of problems

27-May-17: Switching my iPhone wallpaper during work hours as a reminder to leave my work at work

28-May-17: Try again with online iOS development course and commit to 15 minutes of learning per day

29-May-17: Only checking and responding to emails once each morning

30-May-17: Only visiting Medium once a day

31-May-17: Always climb the stairs two steps at a time

1-June-17: Watching one new TED talk a week

2-June-17: Asking each person I chat with about my startup if they’d be willing to connect me with someone from their network

3-June-17: Use the iPhone app “Daily Dozen” to track my eating habits daily

4-June-17: Spend 5 minutes each night reflecting on my day

5-June-17: Listening to NPR’s “How I Built This” weekly podcast

6-June-17: Going for a short walk each day without my phone

7-June-17: Using the 80–20 principle to evaluate my schedule/use of time every two weeks

8-June-17: Experiment with limiting news consumption with a one-minute video/world news update from BBC each day

9-June-17: Watch one iTunes U video a day

10-June-17: Take a Vitamin D supplement daily

11-June-17: Eat fish at least once a week

12-June-17: Get 8 hours of sleep each night

13-June-17: No longer work from home

14-June-17: Buy some spices and start using at least one a day

15-June-17: Use https://pumpn.net/mag/randomgenius/ to discover a new song at random each day

16-June-17: Replacing “let’s catch up over coffee/a beer” with “let’s go for a walk”

17-June-17: Do one minute of bodyweight exercises immediately after my alarm goes off

18-June-17: Drink 1L of water immediately after alarm goes off

19-June-17: Each night, tell my brain to “wake me up at __ a.m.” the following morning

20-June-17: Do yoga for 30 minutes each week for the next 3 months

21-June-17: Create new visual tracker to monitor habits/changes daily

22-June-17: Write down one awesome moment from each day

23-June-17: Spend at least 5 minutes a day learning to fingerpick on the guitar

24-June-17: Use f.lux to automatically adjust computer screen hue in evenings

25-June-17: Disable all notifications/vibrations on phone

26-June-17: Spend a couple minutes daily organizing Wunderlist to-dos

27-June-17: Spend one minute each morning keeping closet tidy

28-June-17: Spend a couple minutes at the gym each day learning to do a handstand

29-June-17: For every new item I purchase, commit to getting rid of 2 other items

30-June-17: Read about a different country each day (for the next 196 days)

1-July-17: Spend one minute a day practicing to write with my non-dominant hand

2-July-17: Forcing a smile when feeling down

3-July-17: Visiting BlahTherapy at least once a week to be there for someone who needs to vent

4-July-17: Complete a piece of string art by the end of the month

5-July-17: Keep track of daily +/- for spending/saving

6-July-17: Commit to wiping down gym equipment after every use

7-July-17: Making sure to de-stress by doing something I love each day

8-July-17: Avoid using laptop and/or phone in bed

9-July-17: Set monthly budget and re-assess each month

10-July-17: Re-attempt 100 days of rejection challenge

11-July-17: Wash laundry with cold water as opposed to hot

12-July-17: Lead by example as opposed to telling people what to do

13-July-17: Start disinfecting my phone ones a week

14-July-17: Redesign a logo daily for fun

15-July-17: Created list of problems/causes I want to support/contribute towards long-term, and plan to review it annually

16-July-17: Created a bucket list to (1) review & add to annually, and (2) commit to crossing off one item per year

17-July-17: Scheduling all commitments into my calendar as soon as they arise

18-July-17: Spending a few minutes daily doing exercises to improve my posture/avoid slouching

19-July 17: Check out upcoming events on Meetup once weekly

20-July-17: Create a podcast by the end of July

21-July-17: Start listening to two more podcasts (Side Hustle School and Talk Chineasy) daily

22-July-17: Make a conscious effort to stop adding to my to-do list throughout the day

23-July-17: Record a new one-minute segment on Orai daily to improve my speech

24-July-17: Start using a workout journal at the gym to better track/evaluate progress

25-July-17: Start doing meal prep for Monday-Friday for breakfast, lunch and dinner

26-July-17: Develop the habit of taking 30 seconds to document the most important points from any meaningful experience

27–July-17: Set up daily reminders to take 5 mindful breaths every couple of hours

28-July-17: Make a conscious effort to replace the word ‘but’ with ‘and’

29-July-17: Watch one hour of Chinese shows each week to supplement learning

30-July-17: Use DayOne app to capture a memory each day

31-July-17: Use Morning Routine app to stay on task each morning

1-Aug-17: Visit Huffington Post’s Good News online page once a week

2-Aug-17: Spend 15 minutes weekly learning to read guitar tabs

3-Aug-17: Take the time to regularly clean/organize computer folders bi-weekly

4-Aug-17: Go hiking at least 3 more times by the end of the summer